The Angel Bookshop posted on 1 November 2011
The Angel Bookshop in Cambridge is a unique independent business packed not just with books but all sorts of things designed to delight, entertain and instruct, making it an essential destination for all visitors whatever their age or their interests.
The shop is in Benet Street, a few steps away from historic Kings Parade and the Tourist Information Centre. Entering you will be met with a terrific selection of books for adults, all at half-price or less. Here too is a wealth of bargain-priced children's books, including hundreds of picture-books for younger readers, alongside the shop’s many delightful toys and gifts, and a selection of beautiful and unusual greetings cards, said by its customers to be one of the best in the city.
Downstairs the browser-friendly basement holds the history, classics and reference sections. The shop’s helpful staff create a welcoming atmosphere that will make you want to visit time and time again.
David Lambourne, the shop’s owner, has been in bookselling since 1973. “From the very beginning,” he says, “our customers have been amazed both by the quality of our stock and our consistently low prices. ‘How do you do it?’ is a question we hear practically every day. The simple answer is that rather than waiting for agents to come to us, we travel to warehouses all over the country where publishers’ overstocks are sorted. Each trip is an adventure, because you never know quite what you’re going to find. Every title is selected with an eye both to its quality and to how it fits in with the overall concept of the shop. There’s no point in stocking a book just because we can sell it cheap: it has to be something we like and think our customers will like as well.
“We’re also very proud of our toys and gifts, nearly all of which are book-related. One of our best lines is the Very Hungry Caterpillar developmental toy, a rather splendid object covered with tiny mirrors and pieces for little fingers to get hold of. Another favourite is the Moomin tableware range, after the books by Tove Jansson. A lot of our gifts come from France, like the Petit Jour bags, aprons and tableware. We also do very well with cards from Nouvelles Images, particularly their black-and-white postcards – we can never get enough of those.”
The shop’s comprehensive website gives a preview of what it has to offer: lists of recently arrived bargains, photographs of the shop’s interior, and a guide to nearby sights like The Corpus Time Devouring Clock, and The Eagle Pub, where where in February 1953 Francis Crick announced that he and James Watson had found “the secret of life" – the structure of DNA.
The next time you’re in Cambridge, check out The Angel Bookshop. It may become your new favourite place to visit.
Weekdays 10.00 to 5.30
Saturday 9.30 to 6.00
Sunday 11.00 to 5.30
For more information call The Angel Bookshop on 01223 316244 or visit their website at www.angelbookshop.co.uk
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